In Conversation with Renuka Diwan: a first generation entrepreneur

Meet Renuka Diwan, a woman who developed the incredibly innovative idea of helping farmers increase their yields through pathbreaking technologies. Renuka began by identifying key issues hurting farmers across the country.

In developing countries, agriculture continues to be the main source of employment, livelihood and income. Of this, small farmers make the up the majority, up to 70 – 95% of the farming population.

Agriculture productivity from high yielding Green Revolution technologies have been decelerating, and in some cases stagnating and even contracting. The highest yields can now only be obtained by using ever larger inputs of fertilizer and irrigation water, which in many places have passed the point of diminishing returns. Many of those affected by this are smallholder farmers. Most of them barely get by—struggling with unproductive soil, plant diseases, pests, drought and ever decreasing yields. The cascading effects of population growth, dwindling natural resources, and climate change have once again strained agricultural productivity.

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But she didn’t stop there. Renuka continued by developing affordable and sustainable products for farmers that would increase their yields and have minimal impacts on the environment.

“We are developing a comprehensive approach to helping smallholder farmers prosper by making pathbreaking technologies like Nanobiotechnology, Bioactives & biotsimulants accessible to the people at the bottom of pyramid at affordable prices. We have developed a range of patented products for plant health, defense and yield that are 100 % organic and required on nanomolecular scale, making them extremely affordable.”

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Renuka recalls the learning experiences that go hand-in-hand with new working relationships. “Initially when we started, the farmers did not trust us and were not forthcoming. After working with them for a season they now invite us to talk to their daughters to inspire them to take education seriously. When they know that we are visiting they keep a basket of fresh organic vegetables and fruits ready to give to us. In a very short span of 4-5 months we have gone from being suspicious outsiders to one amongst them . “

Renuka Diwan with UTMT Team

Faves:

> food: anything plucked right from the farms – farm fresh

> UTMT variant: wild forest

> quote: fall, stand, adapt

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